Enhance your soft skills to help you KEEP that job!

happy worker in front of computerSome might tell you that soft skills could be more important than technical skills over the long term in keeping a job. Soft skills include things like social interaction, communication, conflict resolution, leadership and decision making. The Department of Labor lists enthusiasm, teamwork, networking, problem solving, critical thinking and professionalism as other important soft skills. Each one of these can mean something different to each one of us.

10 top soft skills for job hunters and employees:

  1. Strong work ethic: This means getting work on time, calling in when you or your children are ill, completing a task when it’s assigned to you and doing your best.
  2. Positive attitude: This means looking for the opportunity in every challenge and ensuring all of your comments about the job and others are helpful and positive.
  3. Good communication skills: This includes both speaking AND listening.
  4. Time management: This means making good use of time and prioritizing your work to get the most important and urgent tasks done first.
  5. Problem solving: This means not only making good decisions, but also being able to see how those decisions affect the big picture.
  6. Acting as a team player: This means being friendly and getting along with co-workers.
  7. Self-confidence: This means feeling good about yourself, your job and your skills.
  8. Ability to accept and learn from criticism: This means not taking things personally and using criticism as an opportunity to improve your work. We do some of our best learning when we have to correct a mistake.
  9. Flexibility and adaptability: This means realizing that not every day will go as you had planned, but that you can adjust to what does happen and still do your best.
  10. Working well under pressure: This means keeping your cool, keeping your temper and keeping your focus on the task at hand, even when it has to be done quickly or in difficult positions.

How do you do with these 10 soft skills? It’s hard to do well on all of these skills every day, but if you are mindful of them, you will find yourself working on improving them before you know it. And some soft skills can be learned. How would you start to learn them?